Navigating the Post-Colony: Engagement Strategies in Post-Independence African Fiction


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




African literature is synonymous with socio-historical engagement. This study examines the strategies employed by third-generation African novelists in deepening the tradition of commitment in African creative enterprise. The study is theoretically grounded in Psychoanalysis (Freudian and Lacanian ) and New Historicism. It involves close and comparative readings of the purposively selected texts: Doreen Baigana’s Tropical Fish, Chimamanda Adicie’s Purple Hibiscus and Mukoma wa Ngugi’s Nairobi Heat , No Violet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names and Henrietta Rose Innes The Rock Alphabet. The research explicates the significance of identified strategies of engagement namely child narration, development fiction and quest for justice deployed to engage the postcolonial realities in the selected texts. Third-generation African novelists are thus re-affirming the agency of imaginative literature in the task of social-re-engineering in the twenty-first century post-independence African society.